The 4,000 year old abacus might be ancient technology, but it can serve as a teaching tool for modern students. When operating the device, one learns decomposition — a way to think about pairs of numbers mentioned in the common-core standards.
The movements involved in manipulating the abacus also aid in solving problems. Ulrich Boser, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, says counting and visualizing numbers allows us to “offload ideas onto our hands.” In this video, he further explains the strengths of using this remarkable device.
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A version of this news article first appeared in the On Air: A Video Blog blog.